HOAs: What to know before purchasing your home

by Barbara Rybicki 11/13/2023

Row of houses

Thinking of purchasing a home? Before you do, consider if the home is in community with a homeowners association (HOA). HOAs have their own rules and regulations you may need to be aware of. Here is a basic guide to HOAs and some of their pros and cons. 

What is an HOA?

An HOA is made to govern certain neighborhoods to benefit the community. The organization is typically made up of community members. If your home is in an HOA, you’ll need to abide by the regulations set in place by your HOA. This often includes paying monthly or quarterly fees.  

HOA fees

Homeowners associations ask for property owners within the neighborhood to pay fees. Funding is put towards community gardening. It may also be put towards neighborhood trash removal. If your community has a pool or resident center, fees may also go towards the upkeep of these facilities. 

Pros and cons of having an HOA 

Paying extra fees may seem troublesome. Here are some pros and cons to help you decide if having an HOA is worth it: 


  • An HOA board can act as a neutral party to oversell minor neighborly disputes. This can include yard sign placement, grass cutting, etc.
  • You may get access to fun amenities in the neighborhood. 
  • Your overall community is kept neat and clean.


  • The HOA rules may be strict about what you can place in your yard and exterior decor.
  • Additional fees to account for. 
  • Board members may favor one neighbor over the other.

Before you become a property owner, it’s always good to do research on the neighborhood you’re interested in. Speak with your real estate agent to learn more about the community.

About the Author

Barbara Rybicki

I am originally from Poland but have been a Grafton resident for almost thirty years.

I come from the Hospitality Business. I used to work in 5 Star Marriott Hotel Management. That experience taught me how to provide excellent customer service. That "Marriott" way of doing business instilled in me over the years helps me tremendously to succeed as a local real estate broker.

Nothing is more exciting to me than gratifying feeling I get from helping people reach their real estate needs and dreams. You can count on me to always do what is in your best interest. I will be there for you throughout the entire transaction making sure you understand each step of the buying or selling process. I will guide you with great communication skills  and hard work ethic. 

I have not only passion for my job but also extensive real estate expertise. Whether it is preparing and staging your home to sell for top dollar or helping you purchase a perfect home, feel free to reach out to me so we can start this process together.

I specialize in marketing and selling residential real estate in Grafton, Upton, Northborough, Westborough, Southborough, Shrewsbury, Milford, Hopkinton and Metro West area.

I can not wait to meet you!

Awards and Designations:

Realtor Designation since 2005

Licensed MA Broker since 2009

Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR)

Accredited Staging Professional (ASP)

Worcester Regional Association of REALTORS® since 2005

National Association of Realtors (NAR) since 2005

Multi-Million Dollar Producer

Remax Executive 100% Club 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018

Remax Platinum Club 2015

Remax Hall of Fame Club 2017